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    Jul 22, 2015

    75 Of The World's Most Insane Diamonds Part 2

    Kim's 25 carat engagement ring is a pebble compared to these monsters.

    38. Great Chrysanthemum Diamond

    Snipview / Via

    Dug up from South Africa in 1963, the Great Chrysanthemum Diamond's claim to fame is its 104.16 carats and unusual, rich brown color which is evocative of chrysanthemum blooms. The stone is the second largest pear-shaped brown diamond in the world, and is in the collection of royal jewelers Garrard.

    39. The Great Mogul Diamond

    The Romance of Industry and Invention / Via

    The stuff of legends, the Great Mogul was found in India and recorded for posterity by French gem merchant Jean Baptiste Tavernier in 1665, who said it was the largest diamond he had ever seen at 793 carats. It ended up as a 280-carat- round rose-cut diamond, looking like the stone in the center above (a).

    The Great Mogul changed hands and eventually disappeared. Popular theories include its being recut into the Orloff (see number 1 on our list) or it being the same stone as the Koh-I-Noor (see number 48).

    40. Heart of Eternity

    Famous Diamonds / Via

    Could this be the inspiration behind the fictional Heart of the Ocean in the 1997 film Titanic? Mined in South Africa, the Heart of Eternity is one of the most famous fancy blue diamonds ever unearthed and the sister stone of the Millennium Star. Pictured here in the center of De Beers' Millennium Jewels collection, the heart-shaped diamond measures 27.64 carats.

    At its last exhibition at the Smithsonian, the Heart of Eternity was on loan from a private collector. Rumor has it that boxer Floyd Mayweather bought it from De Beers for his fiancee, Shantel Jackson.

    41. Hope Diamond

    King Jewelers / Via

    Another Titanic reference, the 45.52 carat Hope Diamond has changed hands many times.It is best known for its journey from India to France, England and America, and its reputation as being cursed. Un beau violet -- a beautiful violet -- was how Jean Baptiste Tavernier described the diamond when he sold it to King Louis XIV, an avid diamond collector.

    The stone, known as the French Blue, was lost during the French Revolution, resurfaced in London, and found its way to America as part of Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean's collection. McLean, a mining heiress, had famously disliked the diamond's setting when it was presented to her at the Cartier showrooms. Carter reset the diamond and left it with her for a weekend, and it became hers. Gives new meaning to 'try before you buy'.

    42. Hortensia Diamond

    Versailles and More / Via

    The Hortensia was part of Marie Antoinette’s collection which was lost or stolen during the French Revolution. It was recovered and later reset, first into the fastening of Napoleon's epaulette braid, then a jewel-encrusted comb for Empress Eugenie. The diamond was named after Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland and the daughter of the Empress Josephine.

    This 20-carat pale pink-orange diamond is one of the few on this list that actually has a very visible crack on its surface. It is now housed in the Louvre.

    43. Horseshoe Diamond

    See Jones Diamond.

    44. Idol's Eye Diamond

    Life magazine / Via

    This impressive 70.21 carat diamond from Golconda has a slight bluish color. It first made its appearance at a Christie’s auction in 1865, replete with many fantastical tales of it being seized from a Persian prince by the East India Company.

    Among the diamond's famous owners was Denver Post heiress Mrs. May Bonfils Stanton. Every morning she wore the Idol's Eye for breakfast, usually taken alone in her mansion which was a faithful replica of the Petit Trianon in Versailles.

    45. Incomparable Diamond

    Gem Steady / Via

    The Incomparable Diamond weighs 407.48 carats, one of 15 stones in total that were cut from the original 890-carat rough found by a child in Zaire. The Incomparable also has the unique distinction of having been put up for auction on eBay with a starting price of $15 million, the biggest diamond the auction site has ever seen.

    46. Jones Diamond

    Sotheby's / Via

    This diamond was mistaken for a piece of quartz during a game of horseshoes played by the Jones family in 1928. It was later discovered to be a diamond and sold by Sotheby's to an undisclosed buyer in 1984. The 34.48 carat diamond is the largest alluvial diamond ever discovered in the United States. This may be the only surviving photo of the diamond to this day.

    47. Kimberley Diamond

    Famous Diamonds / Via

    The champagne-colored Kimberley Diamond takes its name from the South African mine in which it was discovered. Originally a 70-carat diamond, it was recut into a 55.09 carat emerald shape which further showcased its brilliance. The stone was sold to an unnamed Texas collector in 1971.

    48. Koh-I-Noor

    Crown / Via

    Originally the largest known diamond in the world, the romantically named Koh-I-Noor (Mountain of LIght) was found in India and passed through generations of Asian royalty before landing in the possession of the British. The Prince Consort Albert had the stone cut from 186 carats to 105.602 carats in order to increase its brilliance.

    The Koh-I-Noor was set into the Crown of the Queen's Consort and first worn by Queen Alexandra, then Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. The diamond is currently part of the Collection of Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. Most recently, India has asked for the Koh-I-Noor to be returned; UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said that it would stay.

    49. Ocean Dream

    Jewels du Jour / Via

    The Ocean Dream certainly lives up to its name as the largest diamond of its color. Mined in Central Africa, it measures 5.51 carats. The Ocean Dream developed its color naturally after millions of years of exposure to natural radiation.

    50. The Orange

    Steven Stone / Via

    Sold for a whopping $36 million by Christie's in 2013, The Orange is the world's largest diamond in this rare hue at 14.82 carats. According to the Gemological Institute of America, diamonds of this shade of orange rarely go above four carats when polished, making The Orange easily four times larger than the stated size range.

    51. Star of Africa

    See number 29, the Cullinan Diamond.

    52. Lesser Star of Africa

    Champagne Gem / Via

    Weighing in at 317.40 carats, the sister diamond of the Star of Africa was the second largest offshoot of the famous Cullinan (see number 29). This particular stone is embedded in the band of the Imperial Crown. Not sure why it was called the Lesser Star -- 317.40 carats is hardly inadequate.

    53. Millennium Star

    Ottawa Citizen / Via

    Speaking of famous sister acts, this is the impressive sibling of the Heart of Eternity Diamond (see number 40). It is also the largest flawless pear-shaped diamond in the world measuring 203.4 carats.

    54. Krupp Diamond

    La Liz / Via

    Famously worn nearly everyday by Elizabeth Taylor, the Krupp diamond was a gift from then husband Richard Burton who bought it for $305,000 in 1968. The 33.19 carat diamond was sold for $8.8 million in 2011. Not sure what you think, but a 2,785% return on investment is pretty impressive.

    55. Shawish All-Diamond Ring

    Born Rich / Via

    Diamonds set into jewelry are meh; how could you possibly top a ring that's made from a diamond? Geneva jewelers Shawish have created this 150 carat ring fashioned from a single diamond that's valued at $70 million. At least you don't have to worry about stones loosening themselves from their settings.

    56. Moussaieff Red

    Famous Diamonds / Via

    This Brazilian diamond is the largest fancy red colored diamond at 5.11 carats. Owned by the Moussaieff jewelers of London, the trillion-cut diamond has been described as a 'surprising cranberry' by a top gemologist.

    57. Lesotho Promise

    Saharan Vibe / Via

    Newer than most, this diamond was discovered in 2006 in a Lesotho mine. At 603 carats, it is the largest diamond ever found in this century. It has since then been cut into 26 gems, with the largest being a 75 carat pear-shaped diamond.

    The worker who found it at the mine's processing factory reportedly let out a scream so loud, her colleagues thought she had been electrocuted.

    58. Spirit of Grisogono

    Amazing and Weird / Via

    The Spirit of Grisogono is the world’s largest cut black diamond at 312.24 carats. Swiss jewelers de Grisogono are credited for cultivating the current passion for black diamonds. This particular stone was cut in the style of a traditional Mogul stone.

    59. Tereschenko Diamond

    Salotro / Via Twitter: @sal0tr0

    It looks purple in the photo but the Tereschenko diamond is actually a stunning blue. The pear-shaped 42.92 carat diamond belonged to the Russian Tereschenko family and was spirited out of the country during the Russian Revolution. It is now in the collection of Saudi jeweler Robert Mouawad who bought it for $4.5 million.

    60. Mouawad Splendor

    Katerina Perez / Via

    Since we're talking about Mouawad, have we mentioned that the man has a serious diamond hobby? Another flawless diamond in his collection is the Mouawad Splendor which weighs 101.84 carats.

    One of its most memorable uses was in the 2005 Victoria's Secret Fantasy bra worn by Giselle Bundchen. The bra itself was constructed from white gold, with 22 rubies and 2,900 pave set diamonds. Obviously handwash only, this bra was pegged at $12.5 million.

    61. The Paragon

    Graff Diamonds / Via

    This striking 7-sided diamond weights 137.82 carats and is the 10th largest white diamond in the world. Mined in Brazil, its unusual kite shape and exceptional clarity have brought it fame. The Paragon is owned by Graff Diamonds.

    62. The Martian Pink

    Dg2 / Via

    Not the biggest but certainly one of the prettiest pink diamonds in the world, the whimsically named Martian Pink fetched $17.4 million after fierce bidding in a 2012 Christie's auction.

    The 12 carat round stone is the largest round intense pink diamond to ever go on the market. It was named by former owner Harry Winston in 1976, the year the US sent a satellite to Mars.

    63. Dresden Green

    Roy W. MacDonald / Via

    The Dresden Green is another historic diamond which originated from India. Augustus III of Poland acquired the 41-carat natural green stone from a Dutch merchant in 1742, and it was set into a hat ornament several years later. The gem resides in Dresden, hence its name.

    The rare apple-green shade of the diamond comes from natural, not artificial, irradiation, or exposure to radioactive elements. Because of this, the Dresden Green has been used as a benchmark in comparing natural versus artificial green diamonds.

    64. Red Cross Diamond

    Internet Stones / Via

    Not red at all, this canary-colored cushion-cut diamond measures 205.07 carats and was auctioned at Christie’s in 1918 with proceeds benefiting the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John.

    The cut of the stone is called Stellar Brilliant, the same cut that the Koh-I-Noor (see number 48) and the Wittelsbach (see number 13) have. What also makes the Red Cross Diamond rare (and makes its name appropriate): The Maltese cross which is visible in the top facet.

    65. The Pasha of Egypt

    Cecil Beaton / Via

    One of the most romantically named diamonds belonged to one of the most fascinating women of the 20th century. The 40 carat Pasha of Egypt was mined in India and sold to Ibrahim Pasha in 1848. The stone had been recut at least twice, with its last incarnation a 38.19 round 16-sided stone mounted into a ring for Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton.

    Hutton, pictured here wearing the Pasha, was known for collecting incredibly rare jewels. These included a pearl necklace once owned by Marie Antoinette and the Vladimir emeralds which were fashioned into the tiara she wore in this photo. The Pasha is now reportedly in a private collection in Italy.

    66. Noor-ol-Ein

    AP / Via

    Any talk about tiaras can't be complete without the Noor-ol-Ein. This oval, brilliant cut diamond is one of the largest pink diamonds that came out of India. It now lives in a platinum tiara with other pink, yellow and colorless diamonds. The tiara was made by Harry Winston for Empress Farah Pahlavi when she married Iran's Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

    67. Spoonmaker's Diamond

    Off Exploring / Via

    This massive 86 carat diamond is the centerpiece of the Topkapi Palace Museum collection in Istanbul, Turkey. The pear-shaped stone is set in silver and surrounded by 49 old mine-cut diamonds which creates a halo illuminating an already exceptional diamond.

    The provenance of the Spoonmaker's Diamond has been debated for centuries. Some accounts say it was found by a poor Turkish farmer who likened it to the bowl of a spoon. Others say it was ransom paid by Napoleon's mother for the release of her lover, French Captain Louis-Auguste Camus de Richemonte who had been captured by the Turks in the 1798 Battle of Nicopolis.

    68. Pink Star

    Fabrice Coffrini / Getty Images / Via

    Ever had your debit card declined? Something like that happened at the auction for the Pink Star, a 59.6 carat vivid pink diamond. When the hammer came down, the winning bid was a whopping $83 million.

    Except that the buyer couldn't pay for it. Oops. Sotheby's had to buy back the diamond for $60 million, the price the auction house had guaranteed to the seller.

    69. The Rob Red

    The Colored Diamond Exchange / Via

    The Rob Red is tiny compared to other diamonds at .59 carats, but it holds the distinction of being the most saturated and purest red diamond in the world. To date it is the only diamond with the highest color grading of Fancy Intense Red. The stone is so saturated it almost looks artificial, yet it's 100% natural.

    The Rob Red is named after its owner, American jeweler Robert Bogel. It is presumed to be an alluvial (found in a river or body of water) diamond from Brazil.

    70. Sancy

    Museum Diamonds / Via

    This pale yellow shield-shaped diamond weighing 55.23 carats is a famous crown jewel that is believed to grant special powers of invincibility to those who wore it. Believed to have originated from India, since 1570 the Sancy has changed hands between kings and nobles -- France's Henry III famously used it to decorate the cap he wore to conceal his baldness.

    The diamond ended up in William Waldor Astor's possession, whose family sold it to the Louvre in 1978.

    71. Regent Diamond

    Hearts on Fire / Via

    The 410-carat Regent Diamond has a background worthy of an action movie. Found in 1692 by an Indian slave who hid it in a wound on his leg (obviously sanitation was not the top priority), it was stolen by an English captain and sold to the French royal family. The Regent has adorned the crown made for the coronation of Louis XVI and once decorated the hair of his doomed queen, Marie Antoinette.

    After being stolen during the French Revolution, it was found in a Parisian attic and set into Napoleon's sword. The Regent, now embedded in a diadem (a jeweled crown) for Empress Eugenie, has been part of the Louvre's collection since 1887.

    72. Star of the South

    Rothem Diamonds / Via

    Brazil laid claim to diamond fame with its Star of the South diamond, also known as Estrela do Sul. Found in 1853 by a slave girl who won her freedom when she turned it over to her master, the diamond rough weighed 201.88 carats. After being cut in Amsterdam by Voorsanger, famous for having been one of the men who recut the Koh-I-Noor (see number 48), the Star of the South weighed 128.42 carats.

    What makes this diamond special is its unique light pinkish-brown hue. The Star of the South is now part of the Cartier collection.

    73. Beau Sancy

    9 News / Via

    All good diamonds have mini-me's, and the Sancy (see number 70) had its own little doppelganger, the Beau Sancy. Like its predecessor, the Beau Sancy originated from India and was named after its original owner, Nicolas de Harlay, Lord of Sancy and French ambassador to India.

    The 34.98 carat pear double-rose cut Beau Sancy was perched on top of Maria de Medicis' crown when she wed French King Henri IV in 1610. 400 years later, it sold at a Sotheby's auction to an anonymous buyer for $9.5 million.

    74. Taylor-Burton Diamond

    Cecilia's Closet / Via

    This 240.8 carat diamond extracted from a South African mine earned its name because of a unique stipulation during auction: it was to be named after the buyer.

    At the 1969 auction, bidding was down to two contestants: Cartier's Robert Kenmore and actor Richard Burton's representative, Frank Pollack. Kenmore won the auction with $1.09 million. Burton, not to be outdone, called Kenmore via a payphone outside his hotel and negotiated the purchase of the diamond. It was to be his second major gift to wife Elizabeth Taylor, who is shown here wearing it along with his first gift, the Krupp Diamond (see number 54).

    75. Tiffany Yellow Diamond

    About Rings / Via

    Ending this mammoth list of 75 of the world's most insane diamonds is the Tiffany Yellow Diamond. One of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered, it was found in the Kimberley mine of South Africa, also the source of the famed Kimberley diamond (see number 47), and originally weighed 287 carats.

    Charles Lewis Tiffany bought the diamond for $18,000, earning him the name 'King of Diamonds'. It has been on display ever since at Tiffany's in New York, and achieved iconic status around the neck of Audrey Hepburn in the film 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.

    Enjoyed this list? Read the first installment of 75 of the World's Most Insane Diamonds. Research courtesy of The Diamond Broker.

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